Prince Harry is taking legal action against the British government after it was ruled that he would not be allowed to privately pay for police protection for himself and his family during visits to the U.K.
A legal representative for the Duke of Sussex tells Bazaar.com that the royal wants to bring son Archie and seven-month-old daughter Lilibet to his home country but is unable to because of increased threats.
Harry says he wants to fund his own security, rather than ask taxpayers to carry the bill, but a decision made by the British Home Office last year means his US security team do not have access to UK intelligence information or the adequate jurisdiction necessary to keep Meghan and their two children out of danger.
In a statement released late Saturday evening, the prince’s legal spokesperson said, “The UK will always be Prince Harry’s home and a country he wants his wife and children to be safe in… With the lack of police protection comes too great a personal risk.”
The representative added, “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex personally fund a private security team for their family, yet that security cannot replicate the necessary police protection needed whilst in the UK. In the absence of such protection, Prince Harry and his family are unable to return to his home.”
During a visit to England last year to unveil a statue of his late mother, Princess Diana, at Kensington Palace, the duke was left shaken after his car was aggressively chased by paparazzi after a visit to a WellChild charity event in London. His security, Harry felt, was unable to protect him at their full potential due to limitations created by the U.K. Home Office’s decision.
In September 2021 he filed a claim for a judicial review against the ruling. Of the legal bid, a spokesperson for the Sussexes tells Bazaar that Harry feels the Home Office’s decision-making has been “unreasonable, opaque and inconsistent” and that even after “undiminished threats” they have taken insufficient account of his position and the impact on Britain’s reputation if a senior member of the royal family, were to be harmed on domestic soil.
Security provisions were a key issue for the couple when they announced their plans to move abroad in 2020. At the time they suggested that the Home Office, through the British Metropolitan Police, should provide protection for the couple and their family.
It was hoped that the Sussexes would be able to join the Queen in June for her Platinum Jubilee celebrations but, at present, the couple feel it is too dangerous to make the journey without the ability to pay for the proper protection. Lilibet, who is now seven months, has yet to meet her great grandmother in person.
“Prince Harry inherited a security risk at birth, for life,” his legal spokesperson said. “He remains sixth in line to the throne, served two tours of combat duty in Afghanistan, and in recent years his family has been subjected to well-documented neo-Nazi and extremist threats.”
They added, “While his role within the institution has changed, his profile as a member of the Royal Family has not. Nor has the threat to him and his family.”
This article originally appeared in Harper’s BAZAAR US